When my husband said that he wanted us to accompany him on a business trip to Tampa, Florida, I had mixed emotions. On one hand I was excited to take the kids for a vacation. On the other hand, I was freaking out because I’d be traveling alone with them. My husband would be flying solo on a later flight.
We prepared as much as possible leading up to the flight. There were some bumps along the way. But ultimately, we were able to travel together as a family. Even though I’m able to breath a sigh of relief, a part of me would have done a few things differently. I came up with a list of dos and don’ts of traveling with kids, especially young ones.
1. Do plan early
It’s important to have all your ducks in a row. Whenever I plan a trip, I go over everything in my head from beginning to end. This time we made a few mistakes. Looking back, we could have done a better job figuring out the long term parking situation. As it turns out, we had to make a 15 minute walk from our spot to the terminal.
2. Do make a list
It’s easy to get side tracked when you have kids. It seems like there’s always something going on. Jotting things down saves me from leaving out the important stuff.
3. Do pack light
Bringing too much means having to carry too much. Rather than bringing the kids’ car seats, we decided to rent them. We also swapped the heavy stroller for the lighter umbrella stroller.
4. Do consider wearing your baby
When I traveled with Baby O to Atlanta last summer, he spent most of the time in a baby carrier. It was so easy and convenient.
5. Don’t wait until the minute to pack
Cutting it a little too close could mean forgetting things or missing your flight.
6. Don’t be afraid to speak up
There was a long line at the security checkpoint. In hindsight, I should have asked those who on later flights if we could jump ahead of them.
7. If you’re traveling with an infant, do have enough diapers in your carry on bag
I only had two on hand, which ended up being enough. In retrospect, I would have brought a couple more just in case.
8. Don’t forget hand sanitizer, plenty of snacks, and entertainment
Kids are always touching everything. Having wipes saved us a few bathroom trips. Princess had her iPad and books, which kept her busy. We also had plenty of healthy snacks.
9. Don’t forget to limit liquids and make the kids go potty before boarding the plane.
We cut off Princess’s water supply two hours in advance.
10. Don’t forget to have fun!
Traveling can be stressful. It’s important to take some time and enjoy it because it goes by fast. Princess became restless while we waited to get on the aircraft, and constantly had to use the restroom. Racing to and from the bathroom made waiting easier.
There were some hiccups along the way. But overall, we had a pretty memorable travel day.